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CBC Digital Archives

Other Libraries

The CBC Broadcast Centre features several other holdings that are not traditional archives, but still include artifacts and materials that are part of the CBC's history and heritage.

Music Library

The CBC Music Library - 150,000 records, 150,000 CDs, and reference material used by CBC producers, programmers and researchers - is more a working library than a true archives. But two components qualify as archival.

The first is the Clyde Gilmour Collection, which was donated to the CBC shortly after Mr. Gilmour's death in November 1997. Clyde Gilmour was a legendary broadcaster, writer and music collector who worked at CBC for more than 50 years. He was best known for the radio program "Gilmour's Albums," which ran from 1956 to 1997. The Gilmour collection consists of more than 10,000 long-play records (including the oft-requested and beloved shrieking lady, Florence Foster Jenkins), 4,000 CDs, program scripts, notes, correspondence, files, tapes and reference materials. It is housed in a corner of the Music Library, set up to look like his basement home office (complete with Mr. Gilmour's desk and old telephone). Clyde Gilmour's music collection is still used by CBC producers for programming.

The Music Library's collection of musical scores from original CBC commissions are also archival. Original works have been commissioned by the CBC since 1936, as part of its mission to promote and nurture Canadian arts and culture. The types of works housed in the Music Library include light classical, full-length musicals, chamber music, operas, concertos, choral music, vocal music, music for full orchestra and other kinds of instrumentation, including electronic media.

Reference Library

The CBC Reference Library is the main reference library for the entire CBC, serving everyone from program researchers to the president. It is first and foremost a specialty library with a 20,000-volume collection on Canadian radio and television broadcasting. As a true archive, its role is limited to its CBC-specific holdings - annual reports, copies of the CBC Times (TV and radio guides that date from as early as the 1930s), production files, all CBC press releases, as well as news clippings, program reviews and news stories about the CBC. Clipping files and other production files are also copied and stored on microfiche.

CBC Museum

Virtually all of the material in CBC Archives is tucked away on shelves, in cabinets or on circuits of silicon. To truly appreciate the material, you either have to play it back on some kind of machine or trust in your imagination. That's what makes the CBC Museum so special. Though small and selective, it turns the CBC's seven decades of history into something tangible through artifacts and interactive exhibits. The two current exhibits are Growing Up With CBC and Radio Sound FX. You'll find a collection of artifacts from CBC Children's Television, including the Friendly Giant's castle, complete with a rocking chair or two; Mr. Dressup's Tickle Trunk; and the puppet cast of Sesame Park. The Radio Sound FX exhibition shows you how talented sound effects technicians brought radio drama to life using an amazing collection of machines and devices before the digital age.

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